James Cole tells us that America's first native-born circus performer was from Newport. Christopher Gardner was a horseman and son of Captain Henry Gardner, owner of a tavern on Tanner Street. Christopher Gardner was the first in a long history of circus performers to thrill Newporters.
Cole, James S.
"Newport's Early Circus,"
Newport History: Vol. 64
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol64/iss221/3